Powered by Polvoron

Polvoron_filipino_candy

Although my young son (AKA Baby Lumpia) is only 15-months old and is much too young to indulge in candy of any sort, my wife and I made it a priority to dress the little guy up for Halloween this year and take him out trick-or-treating just so he could properly experience the occassion.

While I wanted to dress Baby Lumpia up as a Zombie-Ninja, the wife vetoed that idea and opted for something “easy and warm” as she put it.

Bones

To the casual observer, my kid’s costume may seem to be a simple “skeleton”, but I like to say that he was dressed as a member of the Cobra Kai:

Ah, the Karate Kid. It’s a classic.

Anyways, besides dressing my kid up as a member of a villainous band of bullies, I also decided to celebrate Halloween by making my own homemade candy. But not just any candy, mind you. I decided to make a batch of the traditional Filipino candy known as Polvoron.


To the unitiated, Polvoron may seem like a strange candy–what with it’s crumbled cookie texture. Actually, Polveron’s texture often goes beyond crumbled cookie and is more like pulverized cookie. Polveron=pulverized. After all, the main ingredients in polveron are flour, powdered milk, sugar, and butter. And while those ingredients may seem like a strange mix for a candy, trust me, Polveron is delicious stuff… just don’t go around snorting mounds of it Tony Montana-style:

Although commercially made Polveron can be easily found at Filipino markets, I’ve discovered that it’s actually super easy (and super cheap) to make at home. There are also many variants on Polveron–everything from chocolate-flavored, to oreo-tinged, and to chopped nuts, exist in Polveron form. But I stuck to a traditional plain Polveron for my recipe.

To make Polveron, start by toasting some flour in a dry non-stick pan. The flour must be toasted in order to get rid of any raw flour taste in the final product.

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After toasting the flour to a nutty light brown, some powdered milk and sugar can be mixed in. Then, to bind everything together, some melted butter is added to the dry ingredients.

In order to shape the actual Polveron candy, Polveron molds are available at many Filipino markets. These molds are springloaded thingymajigs that tightly pack the Polveron mixture into nice little round candy shapes.

But since I have no Polveron mold, I decided to shape the candies by spooning some of the Polveron mix (about a Tablespoon’s worth) into the bottom of a shot glass and then packing down the mixture with a cocktail muddler until the candy was nice and packed. I then overturned the shot glass and placed the formed candy on some cellophane. I found that a shot glass provides the perfect size and shape for Polveron.

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Actual “shot glass” that I “borrowed”
from my college chemistry class many many moons ago.

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Tightly pack the Polveron

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Overturn the shot glass and the candy slides right out.

Wrap the candy in a square of cellophane, wax paper, colored tissue paper, etc.

All treats, no tricks, at the Burnt Lumpia
Worldwide Headquarters

In my experience, Polvoron seems to be one of those Filipino foods that Pinoys either love or hate. Maybe it’s Polvoron’s powdery texture, or maybe it’s because of a lack of exposure to Polvoron, but I’ve come across quite a few Fil-Ams who don’t fully appreciate Polvoron. I happen to love the nutty, buttery, milky flavors of this Filipino candy. Hopefully, Baby Lumpia will grow up to enjoy Polvoron like I do, but if not, then all the more for his old man.

Homemade Polveron (Filipino Milk Candy)

Makes about 20 candies

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Place the flour in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the flour until it becomes light brown and begins to smell toasty and nutty (10-15 minutes). Stir continuously to prevent flour from burning. Once flour is toasted, immediately remove from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Allow flour to cool to room temperature.

Add the powdered milk and sugar to the toasted flour. Whisk to combine. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Using a Polveron mold (available at Filipino markets), or other mold, shape the Polveron candies.

Wrap each candy in a square of cellophane, or tissue paper, or wax paper.


  • Gastronomer November 1, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Oh! So that’s what polvoron is! I had a “polvoron” in San Sebastian and had no idea what it was (http://gastronomyblog.com/2010/06/04/akelarre-san-sebastian/)

    Reply
  • Janet Rausa Fuller November 1, 2010, 1:41 pm

    Marvin – wow, you just took me back. My mom had a store for a time (vaguely named Food and Gifts International). She sold batik tablecloths, jewelry, canned lychees and shell ‘paintings,’ among other things. AND, she made polveron with those spring-loaded thingamabobs! There is nothing quite like the texture of polveron. There’s also no chance she kept those molds…

    Reply
  • Tangled Noodle November 1, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Put me down as one Pinay who LOVES polvoron! Unfortunately, I’m so impatient to eat it that I simply can’t take the time to make it myself (attempts are likely to end with me simply spooning the mixture directly into my mouth). Baby Lumpia is adorable!

    Reply
  • Stacey November 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I am so excited to see this! I love polvoron (and have a few bags from the asian market…) It’s been years since I made (well, someone made, and I watched–that was probably when I was a kid) polvoron! I will be trying this out sometime! If I can find my polvoron molds!

    Reply
  • caninecologne November 1, 2010, 8:08 pm

    hi marvin!
    yeah! cobra kai! mercy is for the weak!
    very cool post! polvoron is one of my fave candies! the plain is always the best, although the flavored ones (ube, jackfruit, cookies and creme) are also pretty good.
    one of the nicest gifts i ever got was a batch of homemade polvoron from one of my students (made by his mom). i think i’ll be trying this recipe out pretty soon – seems easy enough!

    Reply
  • Wandering Chopsticks November 2, 2010, 11:15 am

    Aww. He’s adorable!

    Reply
  • Julie November 3, 2010, 7:45 am

    I wonder how it tastes when it’s fresh. Yours looks tasty. The first time I had polvoron when I was a kid, it was so sweet I thought my eyes would explode and I never had it again. The times I’d have it when I’d visit my parents as an adult, I couldn’t tell if it was old and dry or just right. It just wasn’t my thing. Then I tried some ube-flavored polvoron, and while the texture was still plenty . . . um . . . gncakkky (for lack of a better word–it just sticks to the roof of my mouth until it rolls off), the flavor and texture were somehow addictive.

    Reply
  • Julie November 3, 2010, 7:46 am

    ALSO, dude, Baby Lumpia is a cutie!!

    Reply
  • Anne November 5, 2010, 11:42 pm

    I think you’re a funny guy. Why burnt Lumpia anyway? As for the polvoron, I think it is one classic dessert. Ang sarap talaga niyan lalo na kung malinamnam kasi butter talaga yung ginamit. Polvoron making used to be a magpi-pinsan event. My lolo makes the mixture and the apos shape the candy with the mold. I hope you’ll be able to visit my blog, too! http://www.anneandfood.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • PinoyLifestyle November 6, 2010, 7:38 am

    Where did you go trick or treating?
    My mom used to make polvoron. One time we accidentally burnt the flour – it was brown but the polvoron still turned out to be edible. In fact, some people said it had a unique taste.

    Reply
  • JBW November 8, 2010, 1:54 pm

    My mom brought some back from the Philippines from a place called “House of Polvoron”. It was sooo good..I was hoarding it because I knew once it was all gone it would be a really long time before I could get more. I will try your recipe and see if it will hold me over until I can get more from the PI..

    Reply
  • Joy November 9, 2010, 12:01 pm

    It looks great. He is adorable.

    Reply
  • stephen November 9, 2010, 9:51 pm

    thanks for sharing this. .I would love to do polvoron all by myself! I want to surprise my mum..

    Reply
  • bagito November 10, 2010, 11:34 pm

    *LOL* I never thought I’d see William Zabka connected to a post about polvoron. Whodda thunk it?!?! Only you, Marvin. I love it.
    BL is sooo adorable as a little Cobra Kai.

    Reply
  • Irene November 12, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Thank you for this! I was always a little hesitant to try and make it myself, but you explained it simply and clearly!

    Reply
  • Krizia November 14, 2010, 11:19 am

    I totally thought you were going to say you dressed baby lumpia up as a piece of polvoron. Haha.

    Reply
  • Mila November 16, 2010, 8:38 pm

    Marvin, did you oil the shot glass before you packed in the polvoron?
    Baby Lumpia is looking adorable in his black and whites. I hope he enjoyed his first polvoron.

    Reply
  • Christine November 21, 2010, 10:28 pm

    I used to help my Lola make polvoron when I was a kid. It is actually the only Filipino candy I’ll eat cause I can’t stand the goat’s milk candy. I never knew it was this easy to make. Thanks! I’ll definitely try it.
    Baby Lumpia is so guapo!!!

    Reply
  • BurntLumpia December 21, 2010, 6:27 pm

    Hey Gastronomer! That artichoke and almond polveron you had sounds awesome.
    Hi Janet. Yes, those spring-loaded thingamabobs are the best thing for molding polveron.
    Tangled, I usually just untwist one end of the polveron and pour it into my mouth:)
    Just use a shot glass stacey!
    Caninecologne, sweep the leg!
    Thanks WC:)
    Fresh polveron is very tasty, Julie. It’s all buttery and warm!
    Thanks for stopping by, Anne.
    Hi PinoyLifestyle. Yeah, you have to keep an eye on that flour before it burns.
    Hello JBW. I’ve heard good things about House of Polvoron. And if you’re gonna name your business that, the polveron better be good:)
    Thanks Joy.
    Polveron would make a great surprise, Stephen.
    Billy Zabka is a legend Bagito!
    Give it a try Irene, it’s not that hard to make.
    Hey there Krizia. Maybe next year he’ll be a polvoron.
    Hi Mila! No, I didn’t oil the shot glass. The mixture is buttery enough that it slides out easily.
    Thanks Christine!

    Reply
  • Patricia January 21, 2011, 7:48 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for posting all these recipes!
    I was wondering if it’s ok to replace white flour with almond meal or spelt, to make it more “nutritious”?
    Pat

    Reply
  • Bob Jain February 3, 2011, 6:42 pm

    I’ve tried making polvoron when I was at my grandmother’s house.

    Reply
  • R Fernandez February 21, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Thanks for posting this. My grandmother, who passed away several years ago, made the best polvoron and I’ve been looking for a recipe. This was always my favorite treat!

    Reply
  • Summer February 27, 2011, 6:09 pm

    So I’m taking a class of the filipino or is it philipino…cuisine to cook my bfs favs and the polvorone didnt come out quite as good as this one did lols…

    Reply
  • Healthy Recipes July 3, 2012, 4:00 am

    Wow, this is called super authentic preparation

    Reply
  • vickie Orolfo May 22, 2013, 11:11 pm

    I dont have polvoron molds either so what I use are silicone heart shaped ice cube trays from the hobby store. I pack the polvoron mixture into the molds and freeze them until the polvoron is hard enough to be wrapped and not crumble. When the polvoron are ready I just pop them out of the trays and wrap them in foil wrappers. I use foil wrappers also found by the candy making section of the hobby store. Ive also been known to add Butterfinger flavored cocoa mix to my polvoron for a different flavor.

    Reply

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